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Spotlighting Wellness-Centered Initiatives in STEM

In this session, we will be spotlighting two NSF-Funded Initiatives and their related mental health efforts: The Mental Health Opportunities for Professional Empowerment in STEM (M-HOPES) as well as the Center for Sustainable Nanotechnology.  These initiatives serve as examples of ways that institutions can embed mental health within their existing structures. 

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Dr.Miriam Krause

Miriam Krause is the Director of Education, Outreach, and Diversity for the NSF Center for Sustainable Nanotechnology, and a member of the Chemistry Department at the University of Minnesota.


Dr. Mike Schwartz

Mike Schwartz (he/him/his), Ph.D. is the Managing Director for the NSF Center for Sustainable Nanotechnology, and a member of the Department of Chemistry at UW-Madison. He earned his Ph.D. in Chemistry from UW-Madison in 2003 and did postdoctoral research at UC-San Diego (Dept of Chemistry) and CU-Boulder (Dept of Chemical & Biological Engineering). He returned to UW-Madison as a research scientist in 2010 and started his current position in 2016. He currently helps to manage research collaborations and other activities that support students and postdocs in the CSN, including the center’s wellness, equity, and liberation efforts. He has been involved with “diversity” efforts for a long time, but it was only after the Academics for Black Survival and Wellness workshops in June 2020 that he began to understand how deeply anti-Black racism and white supremacy culture are embedded in the academy. It was the first time he was asked to examine how his own identity as a cis-gendered, straight white man shaped his experiences, and the tools for self-reflection and growth that were provided to answer that question have positively impacted his life every day since. He is deeply committed to dismantling systems of oppression and co-creating a culture of wellness in STEM.


Dr. Sarah Keller

Dr. Sarah N. Keller is a Professor of Communication at Montana State University Billings, where she teaches graduate- and undergraduate-level public relations and social marketing. She has developed a service learning curriculum that has been well attended by students and enthusiastically received by the community, resulting in three separate mass media campaigns for HIV testing, domestic violence prevention and physical activity. Community support has been demonstrated by the ongoing sponsorship and grant support from St. Vincent Healthcare, BikeNet, the American Advertising Federation, collaborating media professionals, the Zonta Club of Billings, and the Montana Department of Transportation. Dr. Keller began this process at Emerson College in Boston, where she taught in a Master’s Program in Health Communication. She applies her professional experiences from overseas in entertainment education and health communication campaigns with Population Communication International, USAID, and Family Health International. Her media work is informed by her background as a professional newspaper reporter for several small- and mid-sized daily newspapers around the country, and as a freelance reporter internationally for McGraw Hill, the Washington Post, and United Press International. Research on her campaigns has resulted in papers appearing in the Journal of Marketing Education, Nursing & Health Sciences, American Communication Journal, and Health Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices by Nova Press. Her ongoing research agenda centers on examining the use of mass media to promote health behavior and attitude change on a variety of public health topics.

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